Amongst the hottest food trends of 2016, it might be a surprise to see bugs (no, this isn’t a typo) alongside stuff like seaweed, acai bowls, and upscale ramen.
Insects are the craze right now, possibly seen as an alternative to rising produce prices. Crickets, mealworms, ants and caterpillars are finding their way from the ground to our plates.
Is it worth adding these creepy crawlers to your diet though?
The insects in specialty stores are big sources of protein, and have some healthy carbs and fats, too. A couple of tablespoons of cricket flour, one popular bug-related product, contains 55 calories and more than 7 grams of protein, as well as vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. Well-rounded, no doubt.
There’s undeniably an, ‘Eww, bugs’ stigma to the unique cuisine, along with unavoidable factors like texture, and taste. They DO make a difference in consumer choices, whether they’re a healthy alternative or not.
But that may be the only thing holding bugs back from the mainstream. They’re a cheaper protein replacement for chicken and beef, and the cultivation of insects is sustainable. Insect farming has a much less significant environmental impact, making insects an even more appealing food source to those with the environment in mind.
So if you’re environmentally conscious and think you can stomach the idea of eating crickets and worms, eating bugs will certainly do more good than harm.
Who knows, you might find some of the delicacies, like chocolate-covered crickets, to be crawling with flavour.